Greetings & Brian Leetch's to one & all,
As a devout NYR fan, I can honestly say I have never been as excited about the defense corps as I am at this point in the season. Through smart drafting & sorcerer-type trades, the Rangers have managed to accumulate the best young defense in the entire National Hockey League.
But who's the best one? Girardi? Del Zotto? McDonagh? Staal? Stephane Quintal?
The answer is a complicated one to be sure. But if you could only keep one who would it be? And if you had to trade one, who?
If I was the one getting paid to feather my succulent golden-grey locks & suck on unlit cuban's all day, I think I would have the answer on both fronts.
For me, Dan Girardi is currently their best d-man & the 2nd best player on the team, next to the King (honorable Cally mention). He is an oak tree of imperviousness that seems to make every right decision while logging a little less ice time than the 3 polar bears that remain in the north pole. He is no doubt having a Norris trophy type season, leading by example with every stride, but he's limited offensively.
Michael Del Zotto is arguably having a better season than Girardi. His turnaround from AHL oblivion has been remarkable given the Boris Mironov type year he had in 2010/11. His transformation has been two fold, he's improved dramatically defensively, but his offensive capabilities have taken longer to come back around from what we saw in his rookie campaign. If he can ever learn to hit the net he could be knocking on Norris' door sooner than later.
Marc Staal was the one defenseman in NY Ranger land for the last couple of years that gave you true hope. When you think of the Rangers starting to take the right path through drafting & getting away from the Alaxander Daigle signings, you think of Marc Staal. Like Girardi, he is as solid as they come defensively, his stick work is second to none. But like #5 his offense is as stagnant as a slow dance on the first night at virgin camp. Throw in the concussion soap opera that was the fall & you're really left wondering if the real Staal we know & love will ever please stand up, please stand up. He's getting there, he's just not there yet.
Which leaves the man that, if I had to choose, would be the one d-man I would protect more than any other, Ryan McDonagh. At 22 years old, he is playing a game far beyond his years. He seems to be ingesting the best attributes of the other 3 guys & voltron-ing them into his own game. The offensive side is not sparkling yet, but you can hear it bubbling just underneath the surface. Girardi will be nominated for the Norris but won't win it. McDonagh, I believe, will have his name on the trophy before his career is done.
So who of the other 3 would I trade? if I absolutely had to? (cause I would never, EVER want to)
For me, it would have to be Marc Staal. If for no other reason than the family name would garner more in return at this point.
Thankfully, none of them are going anywhere. I for one, couldn't be more excited to see these four young Rangers continue to grow into one of the best defense units this franchise has ever known. The four horsemen. I've posted a poll with this to see what the rest of you out there in Ranger land think.
This is my 2nd entry on BSB & it's been great fun so far. Thanks to anyone who's commented, no matter what your opinion. And to anyone who has taken the time to scroll this far down, thanks for reading!
Big Weekend Starts Today in Philth-adelphia!! Let's Go Rangers!
Mike On The Mic